The Rainman of Roommates
An Olicity Flash Fic One Shot
Flash Fic Prompt #22: Silver Bells & Bullets
Surprised – not startled, because he was ex-special forces and a bodyguard, but surprised, John glanced up from the magazine he had been disinterestedly flipping through and nearly grinned at the sight before him. Nervously fingering a wrapped package in her hands stood one blushing, uncomfortably smiling Felicity Smoak. Tossing the gossip rag to the side, John folded his arms over his chest in preparation for the scene to come. He'd take an encounter between Oliver and Miss Smoak over yet the latest so-called story about the latest so-called celebrity to oh so accidentally flash her kooka to the world any day.
He was a 35 year old man, and, yet, he still couldn't drop the habit of referring to a vagina by the term his mother had used while he and his brother were growing up.
"Sorry, I probably should have called or... emailed?... first," Felicity hedged, already shying towards the door. Thankfully, her timidness once more pulled him out of his own thoughts. It was only Oliver's first night convalescing. If his wandering inner monologue was any indication, it was going to be a long holiday season for John. "I just... I heard about your... accident on the news, and, well, you're my friend." John watched as Felicity's face seemed to scrunch up in confusion. "Or, well, not my friend friend, because we don't spend time together, and we don't actually talk. I talk, though. And I do favors for you. And, wow, I just made that sound really inappropriate... which is sort of my thing, but I'll be stopping now. And leaving. In three, two, one."
Felicity's back was already spun towards Oliver's hospital bed as she practically scampered out of his private room when the patient himself sat up and called after her, "is that for me?"
"What," Felicity asked dumbly, obviously having forgotten about the present clutched tightly in what John had no doubt were her sweaty hands. Oliver nodded towards the gift, and Felicity flushed an even deeper scarlet... if that was humanly possible... before practically shoving the wrapped rectangle into Oliver's reaching grasp, biting her lip. "Right. Yes. Of course." Oliver didn't even have a single piece of tape removed before she was talking once more. "It's a book... on computers. Or, really, it's a book for people on how to use computers." John had to stifle a chuckle when he caught a glimpse of the cover: Computers for Dummies. "I know it's a rather unconventional get-well gift, but you didn't really seem like the flowers kind of guy. I mean, it is the holidays, so I guess I could have brought you a poinsettia instead... maybe? But they're poisonous, and you spent five years surviving on a deserted island, so you probably ate a lot of plants, and I don't think poinsettias are native to the Northern China Sea, so I'm pretty sure you've never encountered poinsettias in their natural habitat, which means that you might not be aware of their poisonous status, so what if you woke up from a fevered dream one night, and were hungry, and saw a plant and like... regressed? So, yeah, no poinsettias."
John expected Oliver to shut down completely at mention of his time away, at reference to the island. He thought Oliver would slip into that stone mask he was so comfortable in and bark at Felicity for her multiple missteps in that little speech, and then the poor girl would flee – and rightfully so – back to where it was safe and far, far away from damaged, dangerous men suffering from PTSD. John would lose his temporarily entertainment, and Oliver would lose a much needed ally. Instead, however, Oliver just smiled softly in Felicity's direction, lifting the book slightly as he murmured, "thank you, Felicity."
Those were some drugs.
Primly, Felicity folded her hands in front of her, nodded once, and then smiled. "You're welcome, Oliver." But, of course, she couldn't just leave it at that, for which John was thankful. "There isn't a chapter on lattes, though. I looked for a book which had one, but your... computer needs seem to be quite unique."
Why did he get the feeling that these two were speaking in code all of a sudden?
And, for that matter, just how exactly did Oliver and Felicity know each other well enough without his knowledge to share a secret code?
"Well, anyway," Felicity hedged, rocking back and forth in her shoes – flats, John noticed. And did they have... faces on them? "I should get going. You need your rest, and I... am really not tired right now. At all." There was a brief pause, and then Felicity was scrambling. "Not that I was implying that I should rest, too. With you. As in... in your bed. Our out of it. And... goodbye."
"Wait," Oliver called out. And Felicity cringed, though she complied, turning around to face the once surly but now quite hospitable patient. "How did you get in here exactly anyway? Visiting hours are over, and..."
"... and it's a family-only policy after that, I know," Felicity finished for him, shrugging. "I don't know. I guess they assumed that I was your..."
"Girlfriend," John, with a jaunty lift of his eyebrows, spoke up for the first time, supplying what surely the nurses believed Felicity to be when they waved her into Oliver's private suite.
However, Felicity just kept talking, providing her own suggestion. " … cousin."
Yeah. He snorted under his breath, rolling his eyes. Oliver's kissing cousin.
Oliver didn't say anything, though. In fact, if John didn't know better, he would have said that Oliver pouted at Felicity's expressed idea. The dislike... if it was really even there, however, was quickly brushed aside, and Oliver was talking once more, keeping Felicity lingering when it was obvious that she really wanted to leave. "I'm surprised that you came, that you weren't... busy. With family, friends..."
If John wasn't the only one to notice how Oliver refused to voice the idea of Felicity having a significant other, Felicity didn't call the patient out on his leading remarks.
"Oh, no. Not me. Not busy. No family, friends. I mean," and Felicity laughed awkwardly. "Obviously, I have family. I wasn't hatched from a pod. And I have friends, too." She screwed up her face in a furrowed brow. John didn't know her well enough to decipher what exactly that expression meant. "Sort of. But my Mom lives in Vegas, and Starling City is a predominantly Christian town. During this time of year, I'm pretty much on my Jewish lonesome. Not that I'm lonely," she hastily added, surprising John when she turned imploring eyes at him as well before glancing back towards Oliver. She shrugged, laughed uncomfortably. "It's just an expression."
"So, you have no one to spend the holidays with, no one who would miss you, no one who would find it suspicious if you suddenly were... unavailable for a couple of weeks?"
John narrowed his eyes in Oliver's direction. That comment was rude, and talk about rubbing salt in the wound. And Oliver had been doing so well up until that point.
However, Felicity seemed to take the questions in stride. Shaking her head in the negative fashion, she emphasized her answer by saying it out loud as well, "nope," even going so far as to pop her 'P.'
"Well, good." And John just about took that forgotten, cast aside magazine he had been flipping through earlier and lobbing it towards Oliver's head. "Then perhaps I should recuperate with you."
He had to agree with Felicity's less than smooth, less than articulate query in response.
"My family," Oliver elaborated, already moving to push aside his own blankets. He didn't get far, huffing in annoyance and then falling back against his pillows before continuing to talk. "They host several large profile holiday events every year, and there are people constantly coming and going from the house. It wouldn't be very conducive to healing... privately."
While John was still struggling to catch up, Felicity somehow had seemingly managed to get on top of... whatever it was Oliver meant but wasn't actually saying, because, once more, it was like the two of them were speaking their own, private language. "And I'm sure you don't want them to worry... about your injuries. Being so serious. Because of your motorcycle accident... while, I'm guessing, riding to where your coffee shop is located."
"Coffee shop," John voiced his confusion.
Oliver and Felicity answered him in tandem. "It's in a bad neighborhood."
He just rolled his eyes.
And then Felicity was talking once more. "But you don't want to stay with me, Oliver. I mean, my place is small. And you're hung." She practically choked in her haste to correct herself. "I mean huge. You're huge. But I was thinking both huge and humongous before, so it came out as hung, but obviously I have no idea if you are... And counting down from three just isn't enough this time."
"Don't worry, Felicity," Oliver reassured her with an amused, light smile. John assumed that he should probably stop his employer before he said or did anything else that he'd regret come morning, but they always said that only children and drunks were honest. And, while Oliver had built up too much of a tolerance towards single malt over the years, perhaps he was still susceptible towards a morphine drip. Completely sober and aware Oliver would never invite himself to practically move in with Felicity Smoak, but high as a kite Oliver had absolutely no problem with doing so, and John was starting to realize just which one of those versions of the same man was actually honest with himself. So, he left Oliver to his digging devices. "I don't need much, and I promise I won't be in your way. I'm an excellent houseguest."
"Great," she harrumphed, snorting part in amusement and part in disbelief. "He's the Rainman of roommates." John couldn't help himself; he barked out a loud, pleased peal of laughter at that remark. "But fine," Felicity easily gave in, tossing her arms up in the air. "You can stay with me. But no one can know about this. Especially at Queen Consolidated. Especially Walter... I mean, Mr. Steele. Or your mother." She groaned then. "Please don't tell your mother."
"I'd say that you need to be more worried about Speedy, but the point of me staying with you is so that my family won't know where I am, so they won't realize how serious my injuries are, so that they won't worry about... me." Felicity went to say something, but Oliver, showing signs of being slightly less self-absorbed than normal, actually seemed to know what she was going to say. "And don't worry. I'll just tell them that I'm heading out of town, spending the holidays on the beach somewhere with a..."
"Cousin," John supplied helpfully, smirking when Oliver glared at him for a second before, once more, turning back to Felicity.
" … friend."
"Yes, because that's so much better," Felicity groused, already heading out of the door.
Oliver either didn't hear or pretended not to, raising his voice slightly to call after her. "I'll see you tomorrow, Felicity. Digg will swing me by your place after I'm discharged." More like after he left against medical advice, John amended silently in his own head. "And I'll bring gifts."
"Make it a bottle of wine... or a case – I'm going to need it, and we'll call it a deal."
Oliver grinned. It was a wide, open, warm smile, and John was taken aback by the sight. "But I can't drink while on medication, Felicity."
"Who said we were sharing," she demanded to know. But it was said with humor, so John knew that Felicity was only teasing.
But then she was gone, and John was pointedly addressing his employer. "I hope you know what you're doing, Oliver."
"Don't worry, Diggle. I always do."
John highly doubted that.
It was New Year's Eve.
Never once had Oliver spent such a night so... sedately. Before, it was always one party after another, one drink after another, one girl after another. And then... while he was away, New Year's Eve became just another day, but that meant scrambling to survive, not vegged out on Felicity Smoak's couch, the TV on softly in the background while he actually paid attention to the noises she made off in her room. He had no idea what she was doing, and he was a little antsy for some company. After all, it had been more than two weeks since he had invited himself into Felicity's home, and Oliver would be lying to himself if he didn't admit that he was used to her presence now. It wasn't like she waited on him hand and foot. In fact, when he had presented her with her first gift – a set of antique, solid silver bells that he thought he could put to use in ringing if he would ever need her for anything, Felicity had flat out refused to take care of him. Actually, she said that, whenever she pictured playing nurse with him, it wasn't because he was really hurt but, instead, under entirely different circumstances... platonic circumstances, of course. Then she had blushed, and skittered out of the room, leaving him alone for several hours until she finally came back – still flushed – but pretending like nothing awkward had been said between them.
So, while she didn't necessarily take care of him – in fact, Oliver had to go so far as to ask Digg to drop by every day to change some of his more difficult bandages (but that also allowed them to compare notes on the research Digg was doing into the other, copycat archer), Felicity was always there. He arranged for her to have the rest of the month off from work, and, in between all the hours he slept because of the medication he was on, they spent a lot of time together watching television and movies, eating, and playing cards. Oh, and losing money, too. Because Felicity always won... at cards, that is. While he liked to contend it was because of the drugs, they both knew that Felicity had suckered him. She was a card shark if he had ever met him, and, considering some of his more recent hobbies, Oliver wasn't unfamiliar with the sort.
"Alright, so I already sent a text to Mr. Diggle to let him know that I'm going out. He should be here soon."
"That really wasn't necessary, Felicity," Oliver told her, twisting around his neck in an attempt to see her, but he couldn't find her with his eyes... which was really starting to annoy him. "You'll be back soon."
"Yeah," she snorted, and he realized she was in the kitchen. "We must have vastly different definitions of what soon means."
"Why," he asked, sitting up straight with his back against the arm rest. He could see her now, but only the back of her head. Her hair was down and curly, but it was different than he had ever seen it before. It was like... well, it was sex hair – amazing, hard, fast, all night long, crazy sex hair. What the...? "I know it's New Year's Eve, but it shouldn't be that insane out there." Why would Felicity look like that just to go run some errands? The only thing Oliver could think of was that she had left him alone to go and take a nap... which was weird, because usually she just curled up in her armchair and slept with him. Beside him. While he slept.
Gritting his teeth against his own wandering, traitorous thoughts, Oliver twisted back around, purposely not looking at Felicity any longer. "Would you mind picking up some pineapple. Maybe some strawberries and bananas, too. I thought we could have fondue tonight."
"Yeah... because I have a fondue pot," she mocked him, chuckling. But then Felicity was there – right there, and she wasn't wearing jeans and a sweatshirt or even one of her beloved pencil skirt and Oxford blouse combinations but, instead, she was flaunting – yes, flaunting – a short, sequined, green minidress with sky high heels, and... no one went to the grocery store dressed like that. "I think Digg's bringing pizza, though, and beer. Well, for himself. You obviously can't drink beer, because you're still taking your meds. But have fun, and I'll see you tomorrow."
"Wait," Oliver called out. Felicity froze with her hand on the door to leave, her coat and purse in her free hand. "Where are you going?"
"To a party," she answered, speaking slowly... like he was a child. "Or, well, to a club that's throwing a New Year's Eve party."
Apparently, Felicity thought that was explanation enough, because she was once more reaching to open the door when Oliver called out for her to stop again. "But what about me?"
Surprised, Felicity whipped her head around to look at him over her shoulder, and... whoa. That just... wasn't helping matters for Oliver. At all. "You want to come to the party with me? But I thought the whole point of you staying at my house was so that you could hide...?"
"No," he interrupted her, cutting her off. "I mean, why are you going out? Why aren't you staying with me? Here. Like every other night I've been here."
"Well, it hasn't been New Year's Eve every other night that you've been here, Oliver."
He must have growled... or something, because Felicity's brows shot up her forehead, and her eyes widened in shock. While she stood staring at him – speechless, Oliver quickly ran his own gaze around her living room, looking for something – anything – to keep her from leaving, to keep him there, to keep her with him. And then his eyes lighted upon the other gift he had given her. "I have a better idea."
"Than me going to a party and you saying here with Digg," Felicity prompted, her voice making it plain that she didn't think such a thing existed. "And I swear, Oliver, if you're back on that whole fondue kick..."
Suddenly feeling lighter than he had in weeks, Oliver sat up and then stood up from the couch, his injuries fairly forgotten. Striding across the room, he slipped the handles of the gift bag bearing the small handgun and bullets that Felicity hadn't touched since she had opened them weeks prior over his left index finger, allowing the package to dangle playfully. "We're going out."
"But Mr. Diggle..."
"Can come, too," Oliver answered Felicity's objection before she could even finish it. "He can drive us."
"But I'm wearing a dress. And heels!"
"So I've noticed."
"And you're in sweats!"
And a t-shirt, because Felicity had practically blown a gasket the first time Oliver tried to sit down on her couch in just a pair of pants. "I don't mind."
"But what about people seeing you, blowing your carefree, playboy, I'm-sunning-myself-on-a-black-sand-beach-somewhere-with-some-island-bunny cover?"
"It'll be fine. We'll rent out the entire firing range. No one will see us."
Felicity tried to keep protesting, but then there was a knock on her apartment door, and Oliver used his hand not holding the gift bag containing her new gun to pull her into his side, spreading his palm out against the small of her back and rubbing slightly while whipping the door open to a startled Digg. He told himself that the gesture was meant to be soothing. If his touch managed to slide slightly lower than what was appropriate...? Well, he could always use the drugs excuse... just like he would be when, later, trying to explain to himself why the idea of Felicity going out and not spending her New Year's Eve with him bothered Oliver so much.
"Don't worry, Felicity. I'm an excellent marksman. I always hit my target."
As Digg shut the door behind them – Oliver doing his damnedest to ignore the guard's smirk, he heard her mumble, "that's what I'm afraid of," before ushering her outside and into the car.
Oliver wouldn't say anything, but that's what scared him, too.